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Africa: Africans circulated more freely in 2016, according to the visa opening index in Africa

Written by Deckson N.

The African Development Bank, in collaboration with the African Union Commission and the World Economic Forum (WEF), launched the second edition of the Visa Opening Index in Africa on Friday, 19 May 2017, as a prelude to its annual meetings in Ahmedabad, India.

According to the report, Africans were able to travel more freely across the continent in 2016. The level of openness of African countries has improved compared to 2015. However, many challenges remain . The second edition of the Visa Opening Index in Africa thus highlights the regional differences that persist in terms of openness on visas. For example, 75% of the 20 most open countries are in East and West Africa, 20% in Southern Africa. Mauritania is the only country in North Africa ranked and none of Central Africa is among the top 20.

Although challenges remain, much progress has also been made in 2016. At the continental level, Ghana, ranked 6th, has made the most progress in opening its borders to African travelers, gaining 16 places compared to 2015. Senegal, ranked 15th in 2016, also includes the top 20 of the most open countries, thus gaining 9 places compared to 2015. As for Tunisia, it gains 13 places compared to 2015. The Seychelles again dominate the ranking and remain the only country to offer visa-free entry for all Africans.

The Index ranks the level of openness of African countries according to the requirements imposed on African citizens to obtain an entry visa in a given African country. The report provides an overview of the countries that facilitate the movement of nationals from other African countries and the measures taken to this end and whether African citizens are allowed to enter visa-free countries if they can obtain visas arrival or if they must have the visa before traveling.

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Deckson N.

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